When We Lose a Loved Pet.
Quite a few of the people who visit this site, or the Ark itself, have recently lost a loved pet and are either looking for a
new pet to fill the awful gap left by the departed one, or are not ready to take that step yet, but need the contact with other dogs or cats.This page is dedicated to those “lost” pets and their heart-broken owners and if it brings comfort to just one of them it will be worthwhile.Losing a loved pet is no trivial thing and cannot be brushed away and life carried on as if nothing had happened. For many life will never be the same again; the hole left by the departed pet cannot be filled and the grief can be as painful and real as if a close human had passed away.
The poems below need a box of tissues nearby before reading commences but many people have written to say that, although they found them upsetting to read, they also found them helpful and comforting.
Read and be comforted and, if it helps to write to us about the pet you miss so much and/or send us a picture, please feel free to do so. We’ll read every one and reply to them too.
Junior came into the Ark as a youngster of 14 months along with his litter brother becuse they were no longer allowed to live in their home. He was soon adopted and we’ve just received the sad news from his grieving family that he’s lost his fight against illness:
Another loving family is grieving the loss of their ex-Ark pet. Little Lottie, also known as Flossy in a former life, had been in the Ark 2-3 times since she was little more than a pup. Her family kindly wrote and told us the sad news:
“With deep sadness, I’m contacting you to let you know Lottie, our much loved Jack Russell had to be put to sleep today. She had chronic kidney failure and deteriorated very rapidly.
“We adopted her from The Ark in April 2018. We will miss her greatly. She was such a character and gave us much joy.”
Our sympathy goes to her family along with our thanks for giving her their love for her last 3 1/2 years.
Ally came to the Ark in August 2019 from a local colony. He’d been straying for a couple of years and joined the colony, but a lady was feeding him. When she moved house, she didn’t want to leave Ally on his own again so he came to the Ark. He was at least 12 years then a bit stff in his back legs. He stayed at the Ark for about 10 months before being adopted and spent a wonderful retirement there, but we’ve just had the sad news of his loss:
“It’s with a heavy heart that I’m emailing to let you know Ally passed on Wednesday. His health unexpectedly began to decline a few weeks ago and the wonderful vet at Wolds started him on some medication to give him a chance but he got to the stage where he was eating very little and his weight was dropping and we made the incredibly difficult decision to let him go.
“I cannot put into words how much I loved him and I’m so sad to have lost him but I’m so pleased he spent the last 16 months being part of our family and being my best buddy. He slept on my bed every night and hopefully enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed his. I have so many photos of him and will never forget him.
“Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to give him a comfy retirement and being a very much loved part of our family.”
It’s always sad to hear one of our animals has died but equally good to know that they’ve been so loved and well cared for in their final home.
Tigger aka Tiny
Tigger/Tiny came into the Ark in2016, aged around 10 years, when his owner became too ill to look after him and soon found his forever home. His family has just written with some sad news:
“It is considerable sadness that I write to tell you that our beloved little boy Tigger has passed away. Always a solid lad, he became affectionately and ironically known as Tiny T, or just Tiny.
“Tiny was adopted from The Ark in April 2016 and brightened our lives every day until his passing on 29th June after a short illness.
“The day we brought him home he wandered around the house and settled straight in, no fuss and no drama. We thoroughly enjoyed being owned by the big hearted gentle giant.
“We would like to thank The Ark for bringing Tiny into our lives, and we very much appreciate being able to adopt from you again once we have come to peace with the hole Tiny has left in our lives.
“I am sending you just two of the many hundreds of photo’s we have of Tiny, although conspicuously we don’t have many of him with his eyes open!!”
He was obviously much loved and we can only thank his family for taking this older boy to their hearts and giving him a wonderful home. That’s what rescue is all about and we send our sympathy and hope it won’t be too long before they feel ready to do the same for another cat.
Truffles came onto the Ark with her friend Lincoln when their owners could no longer afford to give them the care they deserved. We’ve recently received sad news about Truffles:
“I adopted Truffles and Lincoln from the Ark last July. They both settled in really well and Truffles eventually got on with one of my cats it took a few months but she got there, she enjoyed playing with my little white deaf cat. Sadly on Monday last week she was slowly going off her food, and on Thursday morning I rang the vets as she had stopped eating and drinking she also struggled to get up the appointment was at just after 1pm but sadly she didn’t make it and died at home at 11.10am she wasn’t alone myself and my son Jamie was with her.
“I’m a qualified Pet Bereavement Councillor and also I know that pets greave when they have lost a close friend someone they have been with since kittens/puppies like Truffles and Lincoln have so I know what to look out for. I’m sorry to send sad news about Truffles she will be really missed and was very much loved.”
Such sad news, but it sounds as if Lincoln is in the best hands possible in the aftermath of losing Truffles.
Smudge came to the Ark in mid-2018 following the death of his owner. He was with us a few months before being adoptedearly in 2019. We thought he was middle-aged, but apparently not. His owner has written to tell us the sad news of his death:
“Its with great sadness that I have to inform you that dear Smudge was put to sleep yesterday…He was a lot older than we thought between the age of 12 to 14 and had a lot of hidden health problems including the main one which was a heart murmur..sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I had 20 months of him and enjoyed them all..he was a beautiful cat and will be missed very much x”
We’re so grateful to Smudge’s owner for giving him 20 months of loving care in his old age.
Another dog from some years back has sadly passed over Rainbow Bridge:
We would like to let you know the dog we adopted in 2008 (Gypsy-black lab cross) we renamed her Bonnie, has sadly passed away after being a wonderful part of our family. She will be greatly missed. She was a very good girl.
The loss of afamily pet is always a sad occasion for families, but it’s such a wrench when they’ve been a part of the family for so long and we send our sympathy to Bonnie’s family.
Cole came to the Ark when his family was moving to pet-free accommodation, so couldn’t take him. As an older boy and all-black, he was lucky not to be overlooked. But he found a home where he was obviously loved to bits:
“Its with a broken heart that we let you know our beautiful boy Cole went over the rainbow bridge today. Old age had caught up with him over the past week and his back end had gone as well as not eating or going to the toilet. Absolutely broken-hearted but it is not fair to let him suffer like that.
“I just wanted to thank you for allowing us to have Cole in our life, I already feel a part of me is missing. He was the kindest, attitude, sassy cat I have ever known and we will miss him dearly.”
And we thank his family for adopting him and giving him so much love.
Another sad email has arrived in our mailbox about the loss of another much-loved pet adopted from the Ark around 2012-13.
“Hi just to let you know, Buddy who we got from you around 7-8 years ago passed away this morning. He was a brilliant dog, great nature full of life, brilliant with children. He was more than just an animal, he was family, and we’ll never forget him.
“When we came to look at him he came straight to me and even found my car. We didn’t pick him, he picked us and we are so grateful to have had him in our lives. X”
We’ve all been there and understand how Buddy’s family is feeling right now and send our sympathy.
More sad news has arrived at the Ark.
“Sadly on Tuesday 4th August our beloved boy Max fell asleep, he was having problems with his left eye and then had a seizure on 15th July, then on the 2nd August he was having major and minor seizures all day, we then shared day and night duties so one of us was always with him until we visited the vets. We had him for 4 years, the last 6 months he lost interest in many things, playing with his toys, a car ride, or going for a walk, but was more than happy to just nap in his favourite chair. He was at the Ark for a short time, we came looking for a companion after we lost Sonny (Tyson) and we both noticed the dog that was ‘talking’ as we passed by. “
What a wonderful face! No wonder he’s missed. We send our sympathy and thank his adoptive family for giving him a wonderul last 4 years.
Tyler was adopted from the Ark way back in 2006 and has been a part of his family for 14 years. His devoted family has written with the sad news of his death:
“I’m emailing you today on an update of our beloved dog Tyler. We unfortunately had to make the tough decision of putting him to sleep, on Tuesday evening. We adopted him from you on 28/08/06 and lived a happy and fun filled life, and was especially spoilt by all. Tyler was 14 years and 11 months old when he passed away peacefully, with his best friend by his side. We’ll forever miss him and his characteristics, we couldn’t have asked for a better friend and will be a massive miss to the family. We thought as a family that we would give you an update. We’ve also attached an image, and if you’d like to post on your social media that’s fine with us.”
It’s not often we hear from adoptive families from so long ago and it’s always special to hear from them, but often it’s sad news that comes with it. There are only a couple of people still at the Ark who were there when Tyler was with us, but every single person is always sad to hear such news and all send their condolences at the loss of their family member.
Ness came to the Ark when her owner became too ill to look after her and was quickly adopted. Sadly, she too has suffered ill-health and had to be put to sleep>
“We adopted Ness from you nearly 3 years ago, following the death of one of our two Ark dogs, which left Timmy alone. Timmy died shortly after adopting Ness, but now 11, Ness had become very poorly over the last 6 months and we made the decision this week to have the vet put her to sleep. Ness had many issues, but she was a beautiful, loving and sweet-natured dog, and we are heartbroken at having to make that decision and to now be without her. RIP Ness.”
Ness’s owner has had four dogs from the Ark now and commented that the trouble with adopting oldies is that the sad times come round too often. But we’re so grateful there are wonderful people out there who will give the oldies a home and their love and those of us who do it understand how great the rewards are. Our sympathy goes to Ness’s family in their loss but we know they’ll come back and do it all over again when the time is right.
It’s always sad to have to write this news about an old friend. Zara was already middle-aged when she came to us with her son, and has lived to a very good age for a dog of her size, a sign she was much loved and very well looked after. Her sad owners write:
“With great sadness I am writing to let you know that Zara died on Friday afternoon leaving a big empty space in our hearts
“You might remember she was 9 when she chose to live with us in 2014 so she enjoyed a long and happy 2nd life with us. Although suffering from arthritis in her latter days she was still full of fun right up till the day she left us.
“Thank you so much for letting us take her home. She has given us many years of enormous pleasure
“When Zara came to you in 2013 I understand she came in with one of her many pups, his name was Frank and I think he was rehomed quite quickly, If you still have any pictures of Frank I would love to see what she produced ! (Sadly, I was unable to find any photos of Frank)
!I enclose a few pictures of our princess and hope they bring pleasure and act as a good reminder of the fantastic work you all do especially for our older furry friends !”
Our sympathy goes out to Zara’s family. we all know what such a loss feels like and hope they’re buoyed up by their happy memories.
Lupin (Ark name Splodge)
Lupin came into the Ark back in 2010 as a stray and was rehomed not long after. We’ve just heard that he’s recently sadly died at the estimated age of around 17 years:
“Unfortunately, we need to let you know that one of our Ark adopted cats is no longer with us.
Poor old Lupin (you knew him as Splodge), our lovely black and white three legged moggy, was put to sleep yesterday. We adopted him in 2010, he was estimated to be around 5 years old, although our vet thought he could have been a little older maybe 6 or 7.
Having three legs never held him back. A couple of years ago he seemed to be struggling a little with his one remaining back leg. He was put onto a low daily dose of Metacam plus a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and we got the old Lupin back.
Sadly, on Monday (11th May) he was out of sorts, he made no improvement on Tuesday so on Wednesday morning he was taken to the vet. He was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease, the vet also advised us that he had significant pain in his back end. Given his age and diagnoses we made the decision to say goodbye.
“He was a lovely cat, never any trouble, if his tummy was full he was happy. He never bothered the wildlife (he was n’t fast enough!) and liked to spend his time dozing in the sunshine, and he loved a plastic bag to sit in – photo attached.
Thank you for allowing us the pleasure of having such a characterful cat. He was great, we loved him and he will be greatly missed.”
Lovely Lupin had a wonderful home for the last 10 years and his family are really missing him. For our part, we thank them for giving a second chance and so much love to a stray cat.
“Rocky was adopted from the Ark by us around about 3 years ago. I hope to think that we made his last years his best. He was known as the gentle giant and loved by many. Rocky passed away peacefully in his sleep and will be sorely missed by all. We have many memories to cherish. When we got him he was fearful of other dogs but soon overcame his fear and made some doggie friends. He loved his long walks on the beach and splashing in the sea. He even taught my kids to get over their fear of dogs by showing them that not all dogs are bad. Rocky was loving and caring and one in a million. We’ve said our goodbyes but he will not be forgotten.”
Rocky’s family has just sent us this sad message of his death during the weekend of 16/17th November. We send our sympathy to them and hope their many happy memories are helping them come to terms with their loss..
Utah came to the Ark in 2015 due to his owner’s ill-health. After his first rehoming didn’t work out, he found the perfect home and we’ve just received the sad following sad news from his family:
“You may remember Utah, an Alaskan Malamute x Husky who came to you aged 9. My husband and I adopted him 4 years ago after he had an unsuccessful adoption to a previous family.
“Utah was diagnosed with arthritis and canine alzheimers a few years ago, both we managed at home for him. Aktivait for his alzheimers and a number of painkillers for the arthritis. He had a particularly bad spell about a year and a half ago in which we thought we might lose him, but he bounced back with the help of some hefty painkillers. He underwent acupuncture for his arthritis which worked wonders at the time. Unfortunately Utah’s health took a turn for the worst 2 weeks ago, and a very tearful call had to be made for the vet. He had developed double incontinence, had vomited a number of times in 24 hours, fallen downstairs multiple times and had lost an extreme amount of weight in the space of a month in between vet visits, despite eating a good amount.
“In the time Utah was with us, we adopted another malamute from another rescue centre, an unadoptable Bear. He taught Bear how to be a dog and was a superb big brother to him for the 3 years they spent together. Bear would quite literally not be the dog he is today without Utah. Utah was the most amazing dog anyone could meet. He had an operation to remove all his bad teeth at age 9 and was left with only 19 teeth. That held him back at nothing where food was concerned, his bowls of dinner were gone in less than a minute without fail. He would regularly put the other family dogs in their place if they got out of hand, even at the age of 13. We fondly remember him at my husbands parents house, cocking his leg and expertly aiming into the house plant just to show their 2 year old labrador who was boss. He was adored by all our family and he is so very missed. We had an amazing 4 years with him, he had his retirement with us and I want to thank you for allowing Utah into our family.”
We send our condolences for the loss of a very dear pet and helper.
Shadow came into the Ark back in 2012 following the death of his owner and has been in his adoptive home ever since, but we’ve now heard the sad news that they’ve lost him to serious illness.
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that we said good bye to our Shadow today after a short illness…. he went peacefully in the arms of his Dad and favourite veterinary nurse.. He will be missed by his brothers, Michael and Sam, his mum, dad, nana and his aunties and uncles. He had a wide circle of friends who will miss him dearly – this doesn’t include the local cats and dogs of Laceby Acres.. Rest in peace Shadow – we loved you dearly and hoped you would have much longer with us.
“You allowed us to adopt Shadow over 6 years ago after his owner had died – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts – he has given us so much joy and love and our hearts are broken – he was 15 years old so he did so very well -we were just greedy and wanted him for longer. He had a short illness – he was prone to tummy upsets as he liked to eat things he shouldn’t – he usually recovered in a couple of days but not this time – we took him to the vets for tests and they showed his pancreas wasn’t working and he also had bowel cancer – in view of his age they said treatment wasn’t an option as it would be too aggressive and wouldn’t have changed the outcome, only prolonged his suffering. When our heartache eases – we will look to give a home to another dog who needs a loving home – thank you for our Shadow.”
Shadow’s family are understandably very sad to have had to say goodbye to a lovely dog who has been a big part of their family for so long. We understand their grief and send them our sympathy.
Adeola was originally rehomed through the Ark when her elderly owner sadly died and his wife was unable to cope. She has recently died herself and her owner kindly wrote to inform us:
“Hi there, I dont know whether you all remember Adeola the Cavalier King Charles you had. You had tried to re home her several times but people kept bringing her back several times owing to her odd habits such as licking cupboards. We took her from you 5 years ago and she joined our other Cavaliers who are rescues. We renamed her Georgie. Unfortunately she passed away on Friday 31st July from heart failure and kidney failure at the age of 12 (which is old for a Cavalier). She didn’t suffer. We loved her very much including her odd habits and we miss her very much. She had a lovely 5 years with us. I have many photos if you would like to see them. I thought you might like to hear from us. Sad news I know, but you gave her the opportunity to have happiness in her last years.”
When Adeola first came to us she already had a heart condition as well as being deaf, so we can only thank her family for happily taking on a dog with pre-existing health (as well as behavioural issues) and giving her the love and happy life she had. We’re sure she’ll have left a big gap in their lives.
Charlie came to the Ark from another rescue because they’d been unable to rehome him. He didn’t take long to find a home with a couple who had had older dogs from us before. But sadly, what we all dread with our pets happened yesterday, 12th June ’19.
“Hi, I am just letting you know that we had to put Charlie to sleep earlier today. He had 5 fits in a short time last night and 3 at the vets earlier and wouldn’t respond to medication. We were truly blessed to have him in our lives xx”
Charlie’s mum and dad regularly sent us pictures and updates since adopting him, so we know how much he was loved. Our sympathy and thoughts go to them.
Freddie, Ark name Rocky, came into the Ark when his owners were separating and was a lively youngster. After having had him for almost 11 years his heartbroken family has had to say goodbye to him and have written to tell us:
“We adopted our beautiful boy, Freddie, from yourselves on 5/5/08 (he was called Rocky when at the Ark) aged approx 8 months. We have had nearly 11 fabulous years with him and discovered that he was a Basenji x.
“A more gentle natured dog you will not meet. He went blind virtually overnight at the age of 8 and lost some of the spark but his personality was as placid as ever and he just needed us to become his sight humans. This Christmas he spent Christmas Eve at the vets after eating a large chocolate Toblerone, but prompt quality care saw him safely discharged on Christmas day. 3 weeks ago he had a lump removed from above his right eye which turned out to be non-cancerous but left a huge swelling which he caused to bleed every time he banged his head, which was often. He had a blood test as his water consumption was going through the roof and the results pointed to a failing liver, possibly a tumour, which was backed up by a steady weight loss.
“So it was that on Friday, Fred was gently put to sleep as we were not prepared to let him suffer and watch his quality of life get any worse. It has been an unbelievably heart wrenching 2 days since his passing and will take us a long time to get over.
We want to thank you and your fabulous centre and staff for introducing us to Freddie (Rocky) in 08 and allowing us to adopt him and have attached a couple of pictures of our beautiful boy.”
All our sympathy goes out to Freddie’s family and we hope the many happy memories they must have of their life with him will sustain them.
Hettie (Ark name Lady)
Hettie came into the Ark with her best friend Hattie (Ark name Princess), due to the ill-health of their elderly owner who was unable to look after them. They came in about 5 years ago in quite a neglected state with severe flea infestations and allergies, Princess had a benign grownt that had to be removed and Lady had to have a dental and several teeth out. But thankfully they were rehomed together and renamed. Hattie only survived a few months but Hettie has just gone to join her over Rainbow Bridge and we’ve heard from her heartbroken mum:
“Today I had to let my precious girl cross rainbow bridge. Hettie otherwise known to you as Lady came with Princess who passed over four and a half years ago. Hettie was gentle and the sweetest dog you could wish for. When she came to you she was covered in fleas and had a huge patch on her back which never fully grew back. Barbara who hopefully is still with you will remember. Everyday I would say to her I love you more than life. RIP my Hettie. The pleasure and the heartache you have given me I wouldn’t change anything. Love you my Baba. Xxxx”
The story of these two dogs proves yet again they joy and love an older dog can give and receive. Our hearts go out to Hetties adoptive mum in her loss and hope the many happy memories she must have will sustain her.
We recently received a sad email about a resident from years ago:
“We got our lovely dog from you , must be 8/9 years ago, maybe longer – his Ark name was Branston – he got to the good age of 16 and sadly we had to have him put down today, but he had a fantastic life and it was for the best. I’m not sure if anyone there will remember him. xx”
There are some of us at the Ark that do remember little Branston and we all send our sympathy to his family who must be missing him loads.
Lulu came into the Ark for the second time In April 2017 because her owner had gone into care. At the time we understood she was 16/17 years old but further information suggested she was probably 13 years old, still a good age for a Staffy. She went to live as the virtually constant companion of a gentleman on the south coast and enjoyed 5* treatment there. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and we’ve received sad news from him:
“Just to let you know that my beautiful lovely Lulu passed this evening (13th August 2018). She started to develop a severe limp and unusual gait a few weeks ago. Metacam seemed to help initially as the vet and I felt she had arthritis but mid week last week her back legs started to go, walking in circles, tilting to one side.. The vet initially thought Old Dog Vestibular Disease, however after he came on Friday, he said It was clear that she was symptomatic with a brain tumour so we put her to sleep tonight at around 6pm. It was very peaceful, she went in my arms on her favourite sofa.
“She was the loveliest of dogs, and I feel privileged to have shared the last 14 months of her life with her. We had lots of lovely seafront walks, trips up to London, and everyone I work with loved her. She got freshly cooked food every day, tons of cuddles, and went with me (literally) everywhere. I never left her alone for more than a couple of hours and even that was rare. I will truly miss her to bits, she was such a gentle soul and I really hope I made her last year a comfort to her. She was a really special soul, and she has left a huge hole in my world.”
Our hearts go out to Isaac at this sad time and we all send him our sympathy.
We’ve just heard the sad news of the sudden death of one of our more mature residents, Ben, a lovely gentle giant who left us for a lovely retirement home. His sad owners have sent us the following message:
“So very sorry to say that Ben was diagnosed with a large solid mass in his lower abdomen yesterday, 10th April, and was put to sleep at around 9 a.m.
“It was a big shock, but we managed to hide our sadness from him, while we kissed, cuddled, and stroked him. We spoke to him all the time, and told him that we loved him, whilst he was drifting off to sleep.
“Still numb with shock and absolutely heartbroken.
“We have asked for Bens ashes to be returned to us in a casket, which we intend to put on the dining room dresser, between his two “step-sisters”. Really missing him ….. When he comes home from the crematorium, at least we’ll feel that he’s back where he belongs ….. with us.”
So many of us have been in this sad situation and our sympathy goes to Ben’s “Mum & Dad”
Rodney came into the Ark when he was 4 years old so has lived to a good age. He’s was a very large rabbit and very friendly. His owner has written to let us know of his loss:
“I would just like to let you know that I lost Rodney the Grey rabbit I got from you about five years ago. He was greatly loved and remained a house rabbit all his life, I miss him deeply. He shared a pen with Rupert as I remember. He died peacefully in my arms the vet thinks it could have been old age and a tumour, I hope you can let his previous owners know he was looked after well and loved. Thank you”
What a lovely way for a pet to go, in the arms of the person who loved him most.
Back in June 2008, Robbie, aged 6 years a Lab X Retriever came into the Ark with his 12 year old mum Fila, a Retriever cross, because their owners were moving house and couldn’t take them. They were inseparable and Robbie was particularly dependent on his mum, so they had to be rehomed together. Then Flia was found to have a mammary tumour which required treatment as well as temporary separation and Robbie’s devastation at not sharing his kennel with his mum for a while was pitiful.
In 2009 we found them a lovely family home together where they lived happily until Fila died a few years later. Once again Robbie was grief-stricken and it was the family’s teenage son who seemed to understand Robbie so well who brought him round and developed a wonderful bond with him. We’ve now heard that Robbie died recently at around 15 years old and the family, understandably, miss him a lot. They’ve written to tell us the sad news:
“I just wanted to let you know that we have said goodbye to our beloved Robbie. We adopted Fila and Robbie from yourselves, I think around 2009. Robbie was a very old boy and his kidneys failed and on the vet’s advice we had him put to sleep. We absolutely loved the time we had with him and the whole family miss him terribly. Many thanks to the Ark for allowing us to adopt Fila and Robbie all those years ago! They both brought us so much happiness.”
He was a beautiful boy and in the perfect home to understand his quite complex needs.
Mystic & Kimmi
This family has lost two much loved pets in a short space of time.
First of all was Mystic on 26th September when they wrote:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today. We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, now their other dog Kimmi has passed away on 27th November.:
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that this morning our beautiful Kimmi went across Rainbow Bridge. Kimmi had an underactive thyroid and skin condition that required daily steroid tablet, she was also suffering with arthritis. Despite having these conditions for several years, they were finally having a toll on her and her quality of life was greatly reduced, especially over this weekend. Our vet agreed with our decision. Kimmi has been a wonderful dog and a special friend. We have loved having every second with her and are grateful that we were able to offer her a home. Losing Kimmi so soon after losing Mystic is difficult, but I know it was the right thing to let her go today.
“This attached photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to have Kimmi in our lives.”
Both dogs were ex-Ark dogs and had been in their homes for many years. Our hearts go out to their human family in their double loss and our thanks for giving two rescue dogs such a loving home.
Bartley was signed over to the Ark when his former owners were unable to keep him but he was quickly snapped up and now his heartbroken owners have written to tell us he has sadly died:
“It’s with a broken heart I have to let you know 6.5 years after bringing Bartley home from your rescue he has passed on this afternoon at the age of 13. We are completley heart broken and already the house feels so empty. I’ve attached some of our favourite photos of him over the past years with him. He has always been such a good boy and when I had my baby boy last year I was worried about how he might be with him being a grumpy old man by then. He adored our little boy and didn’t mind helping him learn to walk our son would place his hand on Bartley’s back and they would slowly wander across the floor. Little one always patted him, climbed over him and gave him extra fuss which Bartley loved. He was a big cuddly teddy bear with a very loud nasty sounding bark that didn’t really like other dogs. Bartley was the best dog we could ever have wished for.
“Thank you for letting us adopt him and bring him home with us to create the amazing family we had. I will always treasure the memories of Bartley either at one of the stable yards when I had my horse, sun bathing in the garden, snoring on the sofa, stealing the bed and duvet and just cuddles, licks and those gorgeous brown eyes.”
We knew Bartley was a special boy and that’s what he’s proved to be. Our sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.
We’ve just had sad news of Mystic who was adopted from the Ark 11 years ago. It’s not often we hear from friends of so long ago but so nice that owners still want to share their good and bad news with us of our past residents:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today.(26th Sept ’17). We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”
It’s always sad to lose a loved pet, but when it has been so much a member of the family for so long, it’s doubly hard to make that decision. It’s a measure of the love her family had for her that they did her this one last service. Run free now Mystic.
Charlie came into our boarding kennels when his owner went into hospital. When it became obvious he would no longer be able to look after Charlie, we were asked to transfer him to our rescue kennels and find him a new home. He was overweight and suffered from arthritis, so we put him on a reducing diet and and he was on JointAid and went to his new home quickly. We’ve just heard the sad news that Charlie has sadly died:
Just a little message to let you know that handsome Charlie (15) has now gone across the rainbow bridge. We were lucky to have been blessed with him for 3 years and he was a well-loved special boy, who we will dearly miss. Xx”
We know he would have had wonderful care in his new home and the fact that he lasted another three years is testament to that. We’re so pleased that Charlie had that love and comfort for his final years. You can tell how happy he was by the lovely photos.
Stanley came to the Ark when he started nipping as he got older because he no longer liked children prodding and generally annoying him. Quite understandable for an older boy. But he was soon adopted into a calmer home where he’s lived happily ever since. His family have just let us know that they’ve recently lost their dear old boy and sent us pictures and an epitaph:
“We adopted Stan 10 years old in June 2013.
Stan just wanted to be left alone having a quiet retirement!
He was a great companion for William our cocker spaniel, best pals!
Stan became part of our family, and far from being left alone he became very affectionate demanding attention and fuss!
Stan knew we would never let him come to any harm, we never allowed the grandchildren to be boisterous with him and in return he became very attached to them, he laid with our disabled daughter when she became poorly with glandular fever.
Stan stayed fit and healthy until around 6 months ago at 14 years old he starting showing his age.
Leading up to the 5th August 2017, Stan made it clear he’d had enough, however he never lost his appetite! Just his body wouldn’t work for him.
He had us lay with him on many occasion almost telling us enough was enough.
We let Stan go peacefully, the vet said he was ready.
Stan was a gentleman to the end, a proper character who will never be forgotten, we all miss you ! RIP Stanley! X”
We all join in sending our sympathy to Stan’s family and hope all the wonderful memories will sustain them in their loss.
Dotty came into the Ark with her best friend Bruno, aged 15 and 17 years respectively following the death of their owner.They were bewildered and defensive at first but gradually accepted their new situation and accepted us. They were adopted together as we couldn’t contemplate separating them and we heard last year that, sadly, Bruno had died. Now we’ve had the same news of Dotty and their family has written of them:
“Just writing to let you know the sad news that Dotty recently passed away. She had suddenly got very thin, frail and tired (but she had reached a fantastic age of around 19 years old.) Dotty really missed her soulmate Bruno after he passed away last year – she would no longer sleep by herself and for a while she refused to eat anything other than lasagna! We of course spoiled her to bits because even with her blind eye, her bald patches and her boils she was a precious princess who wouldn’t have harmed a fly! We do miss her terribly. Both dogs have left a big hole in our lives, but we are so thankful for the 3 years we had with Bruno and the 4 years with Dotty as we have many funny and happy memories.
“Attached are a couple of photos of Dotty – one of her trying to round up our piglets who kept escaping and one of her enjoying the sunshine!”
We’re so sorry to hear of the loss of this lovely old pair but what a good innings they had and died in the knowledge they were loved and cared for.
Max was adopted from the Ark 5 years ago and has been a constant companion ever since. Very sadly, he had to be put to sleep on Thursday 9th March and his mum has since written to us and sent some photos:
“As you are aware Max passed away Thursday, as we got him from you I thought I’d send you some of my favourite pics of the gorgeous little man. When I see him in your kennels I fell in love with him instantly, I ran to the office to secure him before anyone else could. When we brought him home he settled in very quickly and ruled the roost. I had 5 years with the little man and loved every minute, he really did become my best friend, he followed me everywhere, I can honestly say I feel lost without him. With this in mind if you have any position available for dog walking or cleaning please give me a call.”
Gemma is feeling the awful grief familiar to anybody who has lost a much loved pet. She’s also displaying the need to be around dogs but finding it too soon to think about another pet yet. We see a lot of people in Gemma’s situation and welcome anybody needing a doggy or pussy fix to get them over a difficult time. Our sympathy goes out to her as this sad time.
Shelley arrived at the Ark in 2009 via the Blue Cross where she’d been handed in as too aggressive. However she was rehomed to a family and the comments below just show what a lovely cat she actually was. They sadly lost her on 3rd december ’16:
“Just to let you know that our beloved Shelley Straycat, who we adopted from you about eight and a half years ago, made her final visit to the vet yesterday. She had become quite thin and ill over the last couple of weeks and was fading fast. She was an old lady,as you said you thought she might be nine or ten when we adopted her.
“Shelley brought so much joy into my life and into the life of Sharon, my partner. We loved her like crazy, and was the best friend and companion we could have hoped for. I know we will see her again over Rainbow Bridge one day.
“Thank you for letting us take her into our lives. Although we are full of grieaf and pain today, I am sure that, when the time is right, we will be along to see if we can help out another of your older feline residents.
Love and best wishes to all at The Ark.”
Shelley’s story proves there are two sides to every story and that she’d found a home where she felt loved and at home and therefore happy. Our sympathy goes to her family who have obviously lost a good friend and we hope they’re comforted by many happy memories and the fact that it was a two-way street and they gave her as muchas she gave them.
On the 7th October, 20016 Henry was PTS in my arms. He had been diagnosed in 1st March with an enlarged heart and over the following months his
condition slowly took its toll.
Henry, renamed Henry O’Shaughnessy, was an Ark rescue and came to live with me and be my friend on 25th November 2014. He was a handsome, gentle, sweet natured and very loving and clever rabbit.
Quote Lewis Carroll: “He was part of my dream, of course– but then I was part of his dream, too.”
A song for Henry.
Lewis had an unsettled life before coming to the Ark as nobody seemed to want to commit to him and yet, he was such a friendly, loyal and playful boy. But after a couple of false starts, he found the perfect home and family where he’s been for almost 7 years. We’ve had updates on him from time to time and know that he was much loved but also loved his family back. Now sadly he’s had to be put to sleep following a stroke and his mum has written to tell us what a wonderful dog he was:
Hello dear friends. You may remember Lewis, who my husband and I adopted in Dec. 2009 I think it must have been. .I thought you would like to know he had a stroke on 21st. July and I had to have him put to sleep. He was 14 or 15 years old and was the dearest boy imaginable. I lost my husband too in March and Lewis and I shared our grief and supported each other in a wonderful way. Lewis was devastated when Rupert died. Thank you so much for all you did for us. Lewis has been on the Happy Endings page a couple of times. Every good wish to you all.”
Our sympathy goes to Lewis’s mum at his loss in what must have been a sad and difficult year for her. We hope she finds solace in all the wonderful memories she has.
Sonny, Ark name Tyson, was in the Ark twice in 2012 and again in 2014 so was with us a while during his two stays. He was an adorable boy, often seeming young for his age but didn’t do well in kennels as he just wanted to be around people all the time. We’ve now sadly heard of his death, aged around 11 years old and his family is understandably mourning his loss.
“Sorry for not informing you before, but have been quite heartbroken. Our forever dog Sonny who we got from you 2 years ago and was called Tyson, has passed away, he had Lympangeitas disease of the small intestine.
“Though we miss him deeply, we have such wonderful memories of him and his ways, he was our best friend .”
Our sympathy goes out to Sonny’s family as we all know how they’re feeling. We hope their happy memories will sustain them through this sad time.
Bruno & Dottie came to the Ark back in January 2012 following the death of heir owner. Bruno was already 18 years old and Dottie 16. They were very stressed and defensive on admission but eventually settled and became friendly. It must have been such an upheaval for them at that age and we were delighted when a retirement home together was offered and where they’ve been ever since. Now, sadly, Bruno has died and Dottie must miss him so much. Their family has written to tell us:
“With great sadness, I am writing to inform you that Bruno passed away this week. We took Dotty and Bruno from the Ark to live with us just over three years ago. At the time you believed that they were 16 and 18 years old. This now would have made Bruno the grand old age of 21!
“He had been quite poorly and tired for a few weeks beforehand. Remarkably, Dotty seemed to know that he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer as towards the end she kept squeezing into his bed with him (although this did seem to annoy him rather than give him comfort!)
“We are all missing him dearly, yet feel blessed that he was such a big part of our family. Thank you for allowing us to take Dotty and Bruno home! Attached is our favourite photo of Bruno taken last summer.”
How well those dogs must have been loved and cared for to live to such a great age and we know that Dottie will get all the love possible to overcome her loss of of her lifelong friend.
Harley, a giant Leonberger, arrived at the Ark in a terrible condition having been rescued from a dreadful breeder and brought straight round to us. His coat was in a such a dreadful condition that he had to be shaved and he was suffering from a genetic condition passed down from in-breeding. But once he was sorted out, he found a wonderful loving home, where he stayed until his recent death. His mum has written to tell us about him:
“I have been wanting to send you a message for a while but I have been so upset and finding it hard to tell my friends that we had to have Harley put to sleep back end of last year. He was 8 yrs old and suffered a massive heart attack.
“We still can’t believe he’s not here with us, I can honestly say I have never felt such a close attachment to a dog as I did Harley, I still talk to him every day and say night Harley every night, he wouldn’t go to bed unless he had a cuddle. We had him cremated and brought him home so when the time comes that I go, Big H will come with me. I do not understand why people can be horrible to animals, At Glen’s husky rallies he became our mascot, people loved him so much. We had a lot of fun with him, n he loved being part of the husky part, oh yeah lol.. The huskies taught him to howl !!! What a noise that was, he sounded like a Dinosaur roaring lol. Can I say a huge thank you for introducing us to him, he played a very big part in our lives. We loved him so much xx thank you x”
Rest in Peace, Harley. You were such a gentle giant and deserved a better start in life than you had. Thank goodness you were rescued so we could find you the home and love you had.
We’ve just heard from a family grieving for their beloved dog for whom they had to make that awful decision we all dread of having her put to sleep due to bone cancer. They’ve sent the following beautiful dedication to her which will ring so many bells for so many people. Just left click on the picture to enlarge sufficiently to read.
Ozzy’s family adopted him way back in 2003 and are heartbroken at losing him as he was such a part of their family. They realise not many will remember him but just want to share that he came from the Ark and was loved to bits all his life. This is what they say about him:
“Sadly yesterday 5th Nov 2015 he passed away. In the last year hes had 2 illnesses we managed to get him bouncing back from. Sadly last night he wasn’t able to. Myself and my husband would like to thank you for bringing Ozzy into our lives; he will be missed more than anyone can know. Heartbroken, we really are, but to have given him a home for nearly all his life till he was an old boy was a gift and will treasure our memories with him forever.”
It doesn’t matter how long ago a dog left the Ark, or even if they were ever there, if it gives comfort to see a pet featured here, then we’re more than happy to do so. We all know what it’s like to feel like Ozzy’s family are right now.
Hattie née Princess
Daisy was a stray and was rehomed before it was sadly confirmed that she had feline
leukaemia and had to be put to sleep. Her owners are heartbroken, even though she
hadn’t been with them very long. For those who have difficulty reading the verse, see
below:What is a Cat?Gentle eyes
That see so much,
Paws that have
The quiet touch.Purrs that signal
“All is well”
And show more love
Than words can tell.Graceful movements
Touched with pride,
A calming presence
By our side.A friendship that
Will last and grow —A lovely dedication to a lovely cat.
Alfie was adopted from the Ark in 2009 by the sister of a supporter. We’ve just received the sad news that he’s died:“Unfortunately he developed a blood clot in his bad leg at the weekend which left him unable to use his rear legs and in alot of pain and discomfort, sadly the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep. He went to live in the stars on the 4th of January 2014 and will be privately cremated on 7th January. Rachael is obviously devastated, he was well loved and a very happy old man. RIP Stick dog xx”Bless him, it loks as if he had lots of fun during the last years of his life despite his advancing years and ‘gammy’ leg.
Blake & Patch
Blake is an ex-Ark cat that came in at the end of 2009, aged 6-7yrs when his owner was moving house. He’s been
living with his new family since and been much loved. His devastated owner has written of him:“It is with deep sadness that on Saturday 17th August (2013) we had to have Blake put to sleep. He had suffered with kidney problems for 2 years and was on a special diet and had medication. Last week he became ill again and his kidneys were so severely damaged that he only had a matter of weeks to live even if treated again. The vet recommended that he was put to sleep. We had three and half years with one of the most devoted and loving cats we have had. We really miss him. He is now buried with Patch (also ex Ark cat) and our persian cat Kai in a corner of the garden.”Once again, our sympathy goes out to this family as they also lost Patch (see below) recently.
Patch was an ex-Ark cat that came in for rehoming last year with his mum and her most recent litter of kittens as
their owner couldn’t cope with them all. Now, his owner has written with some sad news about him:
“It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Patch our loving cat was hit by a car Friday night and died shortly after before we could get him to a vet. He was a wonderful loving cat and is deeply missed by us including our Yorkie who was a great companion to Patch and they often played together and slept in the same dog bed.”
Our sympathy goes to his new family who must be upset and shocked after such a short time together.
Ode To Oliver
The months have been and gone.
Forever since you left my side, but oh!
The memory lingers on.
The pain so hard to bear.
But you seemed ready, all set to go
To another life – elsewhere.
But from day to day, you’ll see.
The love we shared, the fun we had
Will be cherished forever – in me.
I’ll try not to be so sad
But treasure the walks, the games, the love
And the brilliant time we had.
(remembering my splendid dog Oliver)
The pain still feels so strong
The silent days, the empty nights
The days have seemed so long.
The names all mean the same
The most loyal friend I ever had
Or ever will again.
But one day we’ll be joined in Love
Running free – just you and me
Across Rainbow Bridge above.
Can’t wait to see your face
Once again, life will be good
In that happy, joyous place.
Play the games that were such fun
Can’t wait, can’t wait, my lovely boy –
Celebrate – NEW LIFE BEGUN!17th
We’ve done it now, boy – twelve months have passed.
A few more years, that’s all I asked.
But God had other plans.
The day had come for you to leave.
The time for me to yearn, to grieve.
Your collar treasured within my hands………..
Your lead is torn and frayed from play –
Used as a toy on walks each day.
You tugged and chewed it – you thought it fun!
The toys that squeak are silent now.
The house SO quiet – still strange somehow.
The year of change has now been done……….
Your bed and blanket, now gone at last;
The final remnants of the past.
A ray of hope can now begin
What’s left is precious and beyond compare –
That silky, lustrous lock of hair
And the joyous memory that lives within……..
BLESS YOU OLIVER.
And two years on…
Hot, September afternoon
Feels so warm, last night full moon.
But you’re not here……
Autumnal colours, sleepy haze
Birds all quiet, shorter days
But you’re not here…….
Soon be winter, first frosts and dew
Walks in silent woods to do
But you’re not here……
The time has passed, now two years –
Can’t believe so many tears
Are you still not here?……
I close my eyes – yearn and seek
Then – a brush of fur against my cheek
Yes – you’re here!!
That love we shared will never die
We’re still together, you and I
I defy anybody reading these poems not to have at the very least a lump in the throat. Anybody who has lost a loved pet, either recently or not so recently, will understand fully this lady’s feelings, from raw emotion to the gradual coming to terms with the loss of her beloved pet, but never ever forgetting him and the good times they had together.
We’ve just heard from Oliver’s owner again and she’s written another poem about him. It may be entitled “No More Tears” but it certainly brings tears to the eyes. It also shows that there comes a time to move on without ever forgetting a loved one and this lady is now doing just that. She says this is her latest and maybe (not sure) final poem about Oliver.
No More Tears
No more tears
The crying’s done
No more tears
We’re still as one
The love we shared, the fun, the joy
Forever – my lovely boy
No more tears
No more tears Move on at last
No more tears
The past is passed
The fun we had, locked in my heart
Never, ever to be apart
No more tears
No more tears
Let’s look ahead
No more tears
Let’s laugh instead
I loved you then, I love you now –
I did survive – I don’t know how!
No more tears, Oliver – just precious memories
Bless you, my special lad
Well it wasn’t the final poem and Oliver’s Mum has written another one, just as lovely as all the others marking the 7 years’ anniversary of his death and showing that you never forget but life carries on regardless. However, there’s still comfort from feeling his presence but she can now “let him go”.
My restless thoughts now turn to you
A smile then appears
Happy memories, fun-filled days
Dispel the falling tears
Can it really be that long?
The years have quickly flown
Keeping busy, day by day
But – different, on my own
Never dreamt I’d still be sad
Through 7 lonely years
But close my eyes, really tight
And suddenly! You appear…………..
So Oliver, my lovely lad
My oh so handsome boy
Please stay awhile at my side
And fill this aching void.
How wonderful to have you here!
My joy hard to express
So long it’s been to feel this way
And know such happiness……….
Now back to Rainbow Bridge you go
It’s time again to part.
But see you soon, run free, have fun
You’re forever in my heart.
I miss you, Oliver.